I have always loved Chinese. When I was growing up the only exotic food available was Chinese. When I lived in the US, I had to get my Chinese fix once a week. I went to this small place (don’t know if I can call it a restaurant) called Taste of China. It was a small basic restaurant with around 4-5 tables. It was more of a take-out place. One of the tables was invariably taken by the cook who sat there and chopped vegetables. Every week I had the same, Szechuan shrimp with no MSG, less oil and steamed rice. The girl who took the order should have known what I wanted. But she always gave me a blank look and no smile. I still went every week! Almost after 5-6 years, while I was visiting I went to the same place. Friends thought I was weird to go there when there were so many nicer restaurants. The girl was not there but the Szechuan shrimp still was. I have eaten better, but enjoyed it anyway, for old times sake.
Last night I made a stir-fry vegetable and if I can say so myself, it was better than the restaurant food. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture.
You could use button mushrooms (but oyster mushroom gives a more meaty flavor), you could also use broccoli, baby corn, zucchini, and even chicken. If you are using zucchini add it at the time you add capsicum. I used what I had at the time.
green beans 15 pieces, cut into pieces
carrot 1 cut into strips
oyster mushrooms 200 grams
eggplant 1 sliced
onion 2 sliced
garlic 8 cloves, chopped finely
ginger 2 inches, chopped finely
capsicum 1 sliced
bean sprouts 1/2 cup
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chilli sauce (or sriracha sauce)- reduce or increase it according to taste
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Heat 2 tsp oil. Fry onions until translucent. Add the ginger and garlic, fry for a few minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the same pan/wok, add another 2 tsp of oil and fry eggplants till cooked. (You can also bake eggplant -drizzle with some oil in a pan and bake at 200ºC/ 400ºF till soft- about 15 minutes). Set aside.
In the same wok, add another tsp of oil and stir fry the mushrooms and beans. When beans are half cooked, add the capsicum and carrot. Keep tossing till crunchy. Do not add salt as the soy sauce will be salty.
Meanwhile, mix all ingredients for sauce in a bowl.
Add the onions and eggplants to the vegetables and toss. Add bean sprouts. Add 1/2 – 3/4 cup of sauce and let it cook for 2 minutes. Taste and if required add some more sauce and cook for a minute or so.
Serve with some steamed rice or noodles.
It tastes even better the next day.